Saturday, May 29, 2010

The countdown is on

We had our final walk through of the house yesterday, and it just made me even more excited to get the keys on Tuesday and start ripping down that damned wallpaper. Looks like we'll be needing all major appliances. We thought they'd at least leave the old stove, but at least we don't need to worry about carting it away now.

So, right after closing we're heading to Sears to take advantage of their Memorial Day sales and snag a new fridge, range, and possibly washer and dryer. Whew.

Get psyched!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Less than a week away...

Friday afternoon is our final walk through before we close on the house. This is our opportunity to make sure that nobody burned it down or smeared dog crap on the walls in the time between inspection and now. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the house and being able to take pictures, since my lovely boyfriend was pretty useless in that department the last time he was there. Love him anyways!

This will also be our opportunity to see what appliances have been left in the house. It was up to the seller whether to leave the fridge, range, washer, and dryer. So we have no idea if those things will be there when we move in or not. On Friday we’ll be able to find out if we need to make a run to Sears asap! I’m crossing my fingers that they’ve at least left some appliances behind. Who really wants to move a stove anyway?

I’ve started packing up a lot of the downstairs stuff—mostly decorative things and stuff that we don’t need on a daily basis—but we still have tons more to do. I can’t believe how quickly this month has flown by and we’re less than a week away from owning our own house. Crazy!

I’m unbelievably excited to be this close to closing, but at the same time I have this terrible feeling that something could go awry at the last minute. We had some issues with the bank earlier on and the financing seemed like it was going to fall through. After some emergency meetings and number crunching, it worked out. But it still makes me wary that this isn’t quite in the bag yet. This has definitely been an exciting but stressful experience so far, so I’m looking forward to seeing it all finished!

Here are some room design inspirations that I’d love to translate in some capacity to our house:

I really want to go with an icy blue, brown, and cream theme for our bedroom. I’d like see a more romantic light fixture than this though. Something with some more movement, like a dangly chandelier—but not glitzy!

I love this putty color for the living room, and I'm pretty sure we own this exact rug. Our couch is a tapestry kind of pattern (red, beige, sage, gold, etc.) so we need to stick with warm colors for the walls. While I love red walls, I think we're gong to need to go with something more neutral to not overwhelm the space and to help it flow into the other rooms.

We want to go with a medium-toned shaker cabinet for the kitchen remodel. I'd like to use a quartz countertop, as I really like the little flecks of sparkle that you get in quartz. It gives the counter a nice dimension.

The feel of this porch is so inviting. I want to put either a swing or glider on the porch. The porch is one of the things I loved the most about the house when we saw it, and I want to utilize it as an extension of the indoor living space.

I'm trying not to get overwhelmed by the endless amount of work ahead of us! Six days and counting!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Welcome to Lucy's House!

We bought our first house!!

It's a 1920, 2-story bungalow in seacoast Dover, New Hampshire -- our first real home. Coming from countless apartments in various towns for years, we're excited to be planting some permanent roots. And with our 95-pound (and still growing!) Saint Bernard puppy Lucy, we needed to give her some major room to roam.

In apartments, we've never had the freedom to paint, nevermind renovate, and have had to just live with whatever the place is like, regardless of style or function. But no more! Now, as makers of our own destinies, we are free to transform our 1,500 square foot "character home" into what ever we want. No more living with ugly paint colors, unusable kitchen layouts, dingy floors, and old bathroom fixtures!

I thought I would create this blog to document our struggles and (hopefully) victories when it comes to decorating and remodeling our very first home on a limited budget.

Here is our (ambitious) game plan for the house:

-Strip wallpaper throughout the house and paint -- the old, dingy wallpaper is a theme that runs through most of the house and hasn't been changed in probably 50 years. After the paper is off, we'll likely have to do lots of patching, sanding, priming, and finally painting.

-Major kitchen renovation -- this will be a major investment and likely the biggest project that we take on. Our plan involves knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, opening it up into one big space. Then we'll add a breakfast bar, new cabinets, countertops, lighting, and hardwood floors, and install a dishwasher (!!!), since the kitchen currently doesn't have one.

-Reroute washer hookup -- the washing machine is currently hooked up in the basement, but the dryer hookup is in the mudroom off of the kitchen. Don't ask me why! We plan on redirecting the plumbing so that the washer can claim its rightful place in the first floor mudroom.

-Refinish upstairs hardwood floors -- the three upstairs bedrooms have original hardwood floors, but they've seen better days. All they need is some refinishing and they'll shine again.

-Add a half bathroom -- our second biggest renovation would involve adding a half bathroom on the first floor. By expanding the kitchen/dining area, there will be a perfect spot left over to add the bathroom. The only bathroom is currently on the second floor, so adding a half bath will increase the home's value and be super convenient!

-Fence in the backyard -- this is priority #1. Lucy needs a safe place to roam, bark, and eat sticks. We plan on completing the backyard fencing before we even move in our furniture. Plus, we'll be adding a kiddie pool in a nice shady spot for Lucy to cool down this summer, so stay tuned for that.

-Replace patio -- the current patio is poured concrete, and it's in rough shape. Our plan is to build a wooden platform deck over the existing concrete slab. Nothing too big, so we can maximize the green space, but big enough to fit a table and chairs and a grill.

-Remove or re-purpose oversized shed -- the existing backyard shed is about twice the size of our detached garage. It's a monster! One idea is to remove it completely to free up some more yard space. The other idea is to open it up into a covered patio space.

This "laundry list" is just the start of our plans, and I'm sure that things will change once we get in and start living in the house. It's a huge amount of work to take on, but we plan on picking away at everything one piece at a time, and keeping this blog up to date while we do it!